‘Carrie Diaries’ explores Bradshaw’s teen years

By Ariana Etessami, Staff Writer

Before scoring a glamorous job as a writer for the New York Star, before becoming a fashion icon and way before Mr. Big, Carrie Bradshaw was a normal teenager just beginning to experience the world and all it has to offer.

In the CW’s new series The Carrie Diaries, airing Mondays at 8 p.m., actress AnnaSophia Robb (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) plays the fresh-faced 16-year-old Carrie. With her wild golden mane and famously quirky sense of style, Robb perfectly fits the role.

Carrie and her family live in the suburbs of Connecticut, circa 1984. After her mother passes away, Carrie is forced to take on new roles and responsibilities, including keeping her rebellious younger sister Dorrit (Stefania Owen, The Lovely Bones) out of trouble.

Carrie’s father Tom (Matt Letscher, Eli Stone) is desperate to lift her low spirits, so when an opportunity arises, he scores her an internship in Manhattan. As Carrie gets her first dose of the fast-paced city life, she encounters new and exciting experiences along the way.

Carrie may have a lot on her plate, but she knows that she can always depend on her trusty trio of buds: dorky Jill, nicknamed “Mouse” (Ellen Wong, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), supportive and endearing Walt (Brendan Dooling, Breathe In) and feisty Maggie (Katie Findlay, The Killing).

When she’s not with her main crew, Carrie gets dragged into crazy situations with Larissa (Freema Agyeman, Doctor Who), an adventurous writer for Interview magazine. Larissa, like many others who meet Carrie, immediately falls in love with her unique and quirky persona.

Of course, there’s always romance and heartache strewn into the picture. Carrie falls for notorious bad boy Sebastian Kydd (Austin Butler, Switched at Birth). While Carrie manages to find Sebastian’s soft spot, his shady history makes for a dysfunctional relationship that keeps viewers on their toes.

The Carrie Diaries is a spinoff of the original HBO series Sex and the City, which spanned Carrie’s adulthood. Both are based on novels by bestselling author Candace Bushnell.

Even if viewers haven’t watched Sex and the City, they won’t have trouble getting to know Carrie. Since the show delves back into the iconic diva’s past, it actually makes more sense to watch this prequel before graduating to the adult version.

In this series, teenage viewers will be able to hear Carrie’s story from her younger and more relatable self. Audiences will feel every bit of excitement, anxiety, pain, love and jealousy that Carrie feels, and this makes watching the show all the more enjoyable.